Gospel: Mark 2:1-12
Old Testament: Genesis 39:1-23
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:15
Psalms: 50, 59, 60,19, 46
I ran into the post office the other day to mail a package. It was a simple errand, and I wanted to make it a quick stop before heading home to get some things done. However, I ran into an old friend, and we stopped and chatted about our kids and how things were going. I could tell she was really agonizing over the best way to parent one of her children. I didn’t rush in and give advice (as I’m known to do), and I didn’t glance at my watch. I just stopped and listened. Before we parted, I told her I’d keep her in prayer.
In Mark 2:1-12, Jesus is in Capernaum, wanting to spend some down time. Instead, crowds gather. Four men are bringing their paralyzed friend to Jesus but can’t get close enough. So, these precocious friends climb to the roof and lower him through the ceiling.
Here is a man who is paralyzed, and his friends love him, support him, and go above and beyond to bring him to Jesus. Not only were these men true believers; to go to such lengths, they were also true friends.
Each day we have routines, expectations of how the day will go, a regular pattern of daily life, as well as a need for downtime. Yet, sometimes things happen that disrupt the routine, or opportunities arise for us to reach out in support of friends in need. Whether it’s a phone call, or a chance encounter as we run an errand, or the unexpected thought of someone we haven’t seen in a while, the opportunity to act is there.
Jesus handled the unexpected by forgiving and healing the paralyzed man. Perhaps life as Christians is more than how we handle the unexpected. Perhaps it’s how well-prepared we are. Do we have friends with faith? Do we nurture such relationships? If we pray together, study the Bible together, and love one another, then when we find ourselves paralyzed through fear or anger or tragedy, perhaps someone will be there to lead us to the forgiving and healing hands of Jesus.